Diego Maradona tribute: Stadiums across Europe fall silent as clubs remember Argentina’s icon

Champions League grounds across Europe are falling silent ahead of kick-off tonight in tribute to Diego Maradona.

The Argentine, one of the greatest footballers of all time, died at the age of 60 from a heart attack earlier today, prompting an immediate outpouring of grief across the sport and beyond.

Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, which is hosting Olympiacos’ tie with Manchester City, and Borussia-Park held their minutes’ silence hours after news of Maradona’s passing had first emerged before a warm round of applause on the referee’s whistle. The other six Champions League games will also see a period of reflection as will Thursday’s Europa League fixtures.

Luis Miguel Echegaray was joined by Andrés Cantor to remember the extraordinary life of Diego Maradona on an emergency episode of the Que Golazo! podcast. Listen below:

In announcing the decision, UEFA president Alexander Ceferin said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Diego Maradona, one of world football’s greatest and most iconic figures. He achieved greatness as a wonderful player with a genius and charisma of his own.

“Diego Maradona was a hero in his native Argentina with whom he enjoyed World Cup glory, and became an eternal idol for the supporters of Napoli, who will never forget the successes he brought to the club during his memorable spell in Italy.

“He will go down in history as someone who set football alight and thrilled fans young and old with his brilliance and skill. I have instructed UEFA to hold a minute’s silence in memory of Diego at this week’s matches.”

One of Maradona’s former clubs Napoli will wear black armbands at the Stadio San Paolo for their match against Rijeka tomorrow night. There are few figures quite as beloved as Maradona in Naples, over seven seasons with the club he led them to their only two Serie A titles, scoring 115 goals in 259 games.

Indeed mayor of Naples Luigi De Magistris has already called for the stadium to be renamed in honour of Maradona, saying: “Diego made our people dream, he redeemed Naples with his genius.”

There will also be a minute’s silence across the Italian league this weekend. In his native Argentina there will be three days of national mourning.

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